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Edm. Well thought on. Take my sword,
The captain-give it the captain.
Edg. Hafte thee for thy life.
Edm. He hath commiffion from thy wife and me
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
To lay the blame upon her own despair,
That the foredid herself.
Alb. The Gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.
[Edmund is borné off.
Enter Lear, with Cordelia dead in his arms.
Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl,O, f you are men
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them fo,
Kent. Is this the promis'd end?
So the 1ft q.; the reft omit the captain.
So the 1ft q. the fo's, R. and J.; the ad q. P. and the rest omit that fee foredid herself.
* The fo's and R. repeat bowl but three times.
f The Ift and ad fo's read your for you.
All before P. read ftones.
So the ad q.; the rest she's gone for ever. iSo the ad q.; the rest or for and.
k Edg. O image of true honour!
Alb. Fair and chafte !
Lear. This feather ftirs, fhe lives; if it be fo, It is a chance that does redeem all forrows, That ever I have felt.
Kent. Ah! my good master.
Lear. Pr'ythee, away
Edg. 'Tis noble Kent, your friend.
Lear. A plague upon you " murd'rous traytors all!.
Gent. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.
Lear. Did I not, fellow?
I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion
*The qu's, fo's, R. and J. read,
Edg. Or image of that horror.
Alb. Fall and ceafe.
P. not being able to amend these two speeches, leaves them out, and the rest of the editors after him (befides 7.): as they have done other paffages. But this is undoubtedly a corruption of fomething which Shakespeare wrote; and it had been but fair to print it, that every reader might try to restore the original reading. Till a better emendation is propofed, read as in the text,
Edg. O image of true honour!
Alb. Fair and chafte.
Which is a very natural exclamation on the murder of fo amiable a creature. 1 So the qu's; the reft which for that.
m The qu's read a for ah; the rest 0.
n The fo's, R. P. and H. read murth'rers, traytors, &c.
• The ad q. omits ha!
P So the qu's; the rest woman.
9 The ad q. reads I ha feen the day, that with my biting falchion, &c.
I would have made them skip:
I am old now,
Who are you?
Mine eyes are none o'th' beft.-I'll tell you ftraight.
Lear. This is a dull light. Are you not Kent?
Where is your fervant Caius ?
Lear. 'Twas a good fellow, I can tell you that,
He'd ftrike, and quickly too.
He's dead and rotten.
Kent. No, my good lord, I am the very man
Lear. I'll fee that straight.
Kent. That from your first of difference and decay, Have follow'd your fad fteps
Lear. You are welcome hither.
Kent. Nor no man elfe. All's chear lefs, dark, and deadly.
The fo's and R. read him for them.
The 2d, 3d, and 4th fo's omit not; the ad q. reads none; followed by the after-editors.
The qu's read bragd.
"The qu's read or for and.
▾ Though all the editions read we behold; it is evident we should read you behold.
* The qu's, P. T. H. and W. omit this is a dull light.
Though all the editions that have this paffage read fight for light; the
context seems to require we should read light.
2 The qu's read not you.
a All before T. read,
He's a good fellow, I can tell you [the qe's omit you] that,
The qu's and P. read life for firft.
< P. reads 'twas for nor; followed by H.
T. reads dead (as no edition before) followed by W. and J.
Your eldest daughters have e fore-done themfelves,
And defperately are dead.
Lear. Ay, fo I think.
Alh. He knows not what he fees; and vain hit is,
That we prefent us to him.
Edg. Very bootlefs.
i Enter a Messenger:
Meff. Edmund is dead, my lord.
You lords and noble friends, know our intent;
During the life of this old Majefty,
To him our abfolute power; m to you, your rights, [To Edg. With boot, and fuch addition as your a honours
Have more than merited. All friends fhall taste
The wages of their virtue, and all foes
The cup of their defervings.
O fee, fee
No, no, no life.
'Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd.
Why should a dog, a horfe, a rat 9 have life,
The ift q. reads foredoome; the ad fore-doom'd.
f The 1ft q. reads fo think I to; the 2d fo I think too.
8 So the qu's; all the reft fays for fees. But the fenfe is, he won't know us when he fees us, therefore 'tis in vain to prefent ourselves to him. h So the qu's; the rest is it.
The qu's read Enter Captaine.
k P. T. H. and W. omit here. 1 The qu's omit great.
m All before P. read you to your rights.
n The 1ft q. reads honor.
• H. gives O fee, fee, to Lear.
And thou no breath at all? O thou wilt come no more,
* Never, never, never—
Pray you, undo this button.
'Thank you, fir.
Do you fee this? Look on her-look-u her lips
Look there, look there
Edg. He faints; x my lord, my lord
* Kent. Break, heart, I pr'ythee, break!
w [He dies.
Kent. Vex not his ghoft. O let him pafs. He hates him,
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.
Edg. O he is gone indeed.
Kent. The wonder is he hath endur'd fo long; He but ufurp'd his life.
Alb. Bear them from hence; our present business Is a general woe. Friends of my foul, you twain
[To Kent and Edgar.
Rule in this realm, and the 'gor'd state fuftain".
So the qu's; the rest thou'lt come no more, omitting 0.
So the qu's; the rest repeat never five times.
The qu's conclude this speech, thank you, fir. O, 0, 0, 0, 0, omitting do you fee this, &c.
So the rft f.; all after infert on before her lips.
w This direction not in the qu's.
The 4th f. and all after have my lord but once.
The qu's give this speech to Lear.
The three last fo's, R. and P. read to for up.
a The ad q. reads much after him.
So all before P. who alters tough to rough; followed by the reft.
All but the qu's omit 0.
d The qu's infert to after is.
The qu's read kingdom for realm.
The ad q. reads good for gor'd; the ift goard.
The play would end best here.